Anthology drama The Syndicate returns to BBC One tonight after a six-year break, with Kay Mellor treating fans to another lottery-based storyline set in the north of England.
Series four, which features the likes of Neil Morrissey, Joe Sugg, Taj Atwal, Kym Marsh and Mark Benton in The Syndicate cast, follows a group of low-earning kennel workers in Yorkshire who pool their funds each week to play the lottery. When their local newsagent, Frank tells them they’ve won a few hundred pounds, they’re pleased, but soon become suspicious when Frank shoots off abroad.
Filmed in both Yorkshire and Monaco during the pandemic, the cast formed a bubble in order to complete the project – although writer Kay Mellor has revealed that she originally planned to shoot in Las Vegas. “Once it became apparent how serious things were getting with COVID, I started to get worried about America. Because of their COVID rate being so high, but also the added complication of the American elections.
“I had been to Monaco probably only two years previously, so I’d remembered it and remembered the casinos and hotels and how you feel when you’re there…poor basically,” she added. “And I thought to myself, ‘Actually, Monaco feels more relevant.'”
Here’s everything you need to know about the filming locations featured in The Syndicate series four.
The Chevin, Leeds
Various scenes in The Syndicate’s fourth series were shot on The Chevin – a ridge on the south side of Wharfedale in West Yorkshire’s Leeds. The summit looks over the town of Otley, where filming also took place.
Show creator Kay Mellor, who grew up in Leeds, wanted series four to be set in a market town, saying, “There were parts of Yorkshire I wanted to touch on, like Otley and Ilkley and Burley in Wharfedale. The area is so beautiful but not many people shoot there.
“I’ve shot a lot in Leeds…I wanted to show off somewhere else. That’s why I picked The Chevin and Ilkley Moor and all round there.”
Burley in Wharfedale, Bradford
The Bradford village of Burley in Wharfedale features in The Syndicate, with a number of scenes shot in Grange Park.
The parish, located within the Wharfedale valley, is home to just over 7000 people and situated between Otley and Ilkley.
Ilkley Moor, Yorkshire
West Yorkshire’s Ilkley Moor is a location used in The Syndicate series four, with the picturesque landscape featured throughout the show.
Located between the towns of Ilkley and Keighley, the moor rises to 402 metres above sea level and drops steeply towards the village of Ben Rhydding. Ilkley Moor is known as the inspiration for the Yorkshire anthem On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at as well as the place of an alleged alien sighting in 1987, according to The Yorkshire Post.
The Syndicate’s fourth series also features various scenes in the market town of Otley, where the show’s kennels are set.
Popular Leeds tourist spot Otley Market Place appears in the series, located at a bridging point on the River Wharfe. The town is best known for its bridge, which dates back to 1228, Wharfemeadows Park and as a filming location for ITV’s Emmerdale, Heartbeat and DCI Banks.
Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco
In episode two, we watch as Frank (Neil Morrissey) places a number of wild bets at a Monaco casino – a scene filmed inside the iconic Monte Carlo Casino.
The gambling and entertainment complex, which dates back to 1863, has served as a filming location for a number of James Bond films, including Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye, while 2004’s Ocean’s Twelve was also shot at the casino.
Katherine Rose Morley, who plays Keeley Sanderson in the series, revealed that her favourite scene to film took place in the Monte Carlo Casino. “It was about 4:30am and I had a real pinch me moment. We’re in a global pandemic, but I’m in Monaco and they’ve opened the casino just for us. It’s so grand and opulent and we’re just little old us. I really did have a moment of feeling really lucky and grateful.”
Hotel Metropole, Monte Carlo
The Syndicate’s fourth series sees newsagent Frank (Neil Morrissey) deciding to stay in a five-star hotel – The Hotel Metropole.
The luxury hotel, which was built in 1889, features in a number of scenes, with Morrissey saying his favourite filming moments took place there.
“We obviously didn’t get to stay overnight, but just filming there was a great experience. We were filming in this amazing suite and I did a scene in the bath. It’s a really glamorous bathroom and I’ve got chocolates on the side of the bath, a glass of brandy in my hand and my character’s dog is setting there next to me, which was all very nice!”
The Syndicate airs tonight on BBC One at 9pm. Looking for something else to watch? Find out what’s on with our TV Guide.